Indian-origin gang members jailed for drug smuggling in UK

London:  Three Indian-origin members of a criminal gang who were found guilty of smuggling drugs into the UK from Canada have been sentenced to a total of nearly 15 years imprisonment by a UK court.

Kuran Gill, 32, Jag Singh, 32, and Govind Bahia, 30, were members of an organised crime group and were caught along with accomplice Gregory Blacklock, 32, when UK Border Force officers discovered two pallet loads or large boxes of cannabis within a shipment of computer casing at Heathrow Airport in February.

All four were sentenced last month at Woolwich Crown Court in south London, according to the Kent Police.

“The cracking of the EncroChat mobile phone platform has led to countless criminals being caught red-handed and brought to justice,” said Investigating office.

Detective Constable Steve Brown, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

“Organised gangs across Europe thought they could openly discuss their criminal activity, oblivious to the fact the system was not as secure as they thought and that every message they sent was bringing them a step closer to prison. Crime does not pay and I am satisfied that those involved in this particular conspiracy are now behind bars where they belong,” he said.

The drugs, which were valued at around 1 million pounds, had been flown across from Canada and were due to be delivered to a business address in Dartford, Kent, south-east England.

Instead, they were seized as part of an investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Detectives were able to link the shipment to members of a criminal network who had been arranging the importation of cannabis over the illegally encrypted EncroChat mobile phone platform, which international law enforcement agencies cracked in the spring of 2020.

Kuran Gill was found to have organised the importation and onward distribution of the cannabis and also facilitated the sale of a kilogram of cocaine.

Officers seized around 105,000 pounds cash from his home address at Gravesend in Kent following his arrest in April 2021. Gill pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a Class B controlled drug, conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of criminal property, and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

Londoner Jag Singh was also found to have been involved in organising the importation and distribution of cannabis.

The police said he used the chat handle of “Real Crocodile” to exchange multiple messages with Gill in which they openly discussed routes into the country, ways in which the drugs could be concealed and how much it would cost.

Singh pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a Class B drug and was jailed for four years and nine months.

Bahia was found to have assisted Gill with advice and direction on the type and quantity of cannabis to purchase. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a Class B drug and was jailed for three years.

Details of their conviction and sentences were revealed by the Kent Police last week.